Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is naming his shadow cabinet, including his predecessor Andrew Scheer as the party's infrastructure critic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were “late and confused” on COVID response

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says Alberta has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic better than the federal government.

O’Toole addressed the provincial United Conservative Party’s annual general meeting by livestream from Ottawa.

He says when Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks about Canada building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s code for leaving out workers in the energy, forestry, auto and steel sectors.

O’Toole says the Liberals were confused and late at every step of the pandemic, including closing the border, procuring personal protective equipment and implementing rapid testing.

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen, citing an early lead on testing as an example.

Alberta’s daily case count began to surge over the 400 mark this week, up sharply from about a month ago when new infection totals stood in the mid-100s.

While Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba have toughened restrictions on certain businesses and activities in recent weeks, Kenney has said his government prefers encouraging personal responsibility over imposing new shutdowns on Alberta’s frail economy.

Alberta chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw has warned Alberta is in the “danger zone” as hospitalizations and intensive care admissions rise.

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